Michelle Buxton from The Garden of Unearthly Delights Takes The Mic

Thursday, 12 Feb 2015

My name is Michelle Buxton and I am one of the founding producers of The Garden of Unearthly Delights in Adelaide. The Garden is a multi venue entertainment precinct set in the wonderful East Parklands at the edge of Adelaide’s CBD. We run for 32 amazing summer nights and more than 700,000 people visit every year.

In 2000, a small group of us decided to bring The Famous Spiegeltent to Australia to introduce this magic venue to our home audiences. We decided on a gorgeous site in Adelaide amidst Australia’s biggest arts festival and fringe. It was a great success and the following festival season we returned with ‘The Famous’ and a circus big top programmed by another amazing team, ‘Strut & Fret’. It was during that season that we all learnt that the show starts at the front gate and our venues were only part of the picture. Since then The Garden has grown organically. The site now houses 11 performance venues plus a number of sideshows, carnival rides, a global food village, night markets and bars. Part arts festival / part seaside carnival, The Garden attracts people young and old and presents to them the very best shows from all over the world.

We have always presented a lot of free entertainment in The Garden as well as a very dense program of ticketed concerts. The joy of live music on site is unbeatable and I cannot imagine The Garden without it.

Over recent years The Garden Sessions has evolved into an exciting showcase for local indigenous artists.

It is a great opportunity for people to meet and enjoy artists they may not come across in other places. And it gives artists great experience on stage and access to a big new audience.

APRA AMCOS have supported this program for a number of years now and are integral to its ongoing success. The program has given countless local artists the chance to perform in front of big audiences and its great to see those artists go on to perform ticketed concert in subsequent years. This year, both Laura Hill and Ellie Lovegrove are in our ticketed program, having started with us in The Garden Sessions.

I’m thrilled with this year’s program. The Garden presents all types of performing arts from music and comedy to circus, cabaret and physical theatre. I love the breadth and diversity of the shows we are presenting.

I’m particularly pleased that in addition to The Garden Sessions we have a number of truly great indigenous artists performing in our concert program. It is a privilege and a personal delight to have Archie Roach, Dan Sultan and Djuki Mala all in The Garden this year.

Other shows I am super exited about include Velvet starring the completely amazing Marcia Hines, J Mascis performing solo, Guy Pearce and Darren Middleton on their debut tour, old friends Wil Anderson, Heath Franklin, Felicity Ward, Sam Simmons, The Black Sorrows, Katie Noonan, Wally de Backer’s fabulous band The Basics and Vika and Linda, the hilarious comedy rapper Abandoman, my favourite purple comic Randy. I could go on and on…

The best thing about The Garden, in my opinion, is that we have four directors/producers/owners. We’re all really different with very different skills and taste but when we come together we can do really amazing things. The enormous diversity of our programming (and hence our audience) is totally due to the fact that we all have a say in the shows that we choose for our venues.

The Garden is my favourite place and I can’t wait for it to spring to life again. I love seeing other people enjoy what we have spent all year creating.

The Garden of Unearthly Delights takes place each year in Adelaide from 13 February – 15 March. For more information, visit our website and for more details, visit www.gardenofunearthlydelights.com.au.

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